Program to help electrify off-grid places


Lighting Africa is closing out its lighting Ethiopia program. The overall goal of the project was to work with clients/companies working in the off-grid lighting sector to develop a commercial market for high quality solar lanterns and kits that enable access to cleaner and safer off-grid lighting for 11.8 million people by December 2019. Lighting Africa/Ethiopia piloted a new market development approach that sought to address the entry barriers and other challenges impeding the growth of the sector.
Thus far, the program has successfully electrified about 12 million people with quality verified solar technologies, trained over 300 solar technicians, Solar distributors, retailers and 14 MFIs. In addition, the program reached over 20 million people with Consumer education campaigns.
Lighting Africa, a joint IFC-World Bank Program, aims to enable access to off-gird lighting and energy services for those not connected to the grid, by mobilizing the private sector to build sustainable markets for affordable, high quality, modern off-grid solar products. Lighting Africa Project in Ethiopia activities kicked off in October 2015. The program works with solar product manufacturers, distributors and retailers, government agencies, finance institutions and other stakeholders to improve market systems and address a range of market barriers that include regulatory constraints, market spoilage from poor-quality products, low consumer awareness levels, and financial bottlenecks.
According to the world bank, the electrification program in Ethiopia will require an estimated USD 1.5 billion over its first five years. The government has hopes to provide electricity to all Ethiopians by 2025. Currently, only 44 percent of the country is electrified, around 60 million in Ethiopia alone lack access to electricity. Since an overwhelming part of the country’s power is generated through hydropower plants, the solar energy sector in Ethiopia is still in its earliest stages of development
With energy demand expected to grow by around 10% annually and an estimated population of around 110 million, Ethiopia has power generation capacity of around 4.5 GW at present, most of it hydropower. The government intends to install more large hydro as well as renewable as it chases the unlikely target of hitting 17.3 GW of capacity by next year. Ethiopia’s state-owned utility the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) has issued an in a process of bid to seek developers to deploy solar mini-grids in 25 villages, with the projects financed by the African Development Bank and has 12 ongoing mini grid solar projects. 80% of rural households rely on fuel-based light sources, predominantly kerosene, The three main energy carriers in Ethiopia are oil products, electricity (from solar radiation, water, wind, heat) and bioethanol (from sugarcane).